Sony a7 III vs. a7r III: The Complete Comparison

In this article, we break down the key differences between the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III, as well as provide a detailed analysis of their best features, so you can decide which is the best fit for you.

The Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III are mirrorless full-frame cameras released about a year apart. Both of these cameras have similar designs and features at different price points, so deciding between the two can be a bit tricky.

We broke down the basics for you, and give a detailed comparison of the defining features between the two to make your decision process easier. Check out the following:

Key Details at a Glance:

Here are the side-by-side specs of the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III:

Sony a7 III Sony a7r III
Price New: $1,998.00, Used: $1,700 $2,498.00, Used: ~$2,000
Release Date 2/27/2018 10/25/2017
Sensor 24MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS 42MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS
Viewfinder EVF EVF
Articulating LCD Screen Yes Yes
LCD Screen Size 3 3
Viewfinder Resolution 2359k 3686k
Lens Type Sony E Mount Sony E Mount
Continuous Shooting Speed 10.0 fps 10.0 fps
Video Resolution 3840×2160 3840×2160
High-Speed Video 120 fps 120 fps
Weather sealed Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Sensor-Shift Sensor-Shift
Color Depth 25.0 26.0
Dynamic Range 14.7 14.7
Low Light ISO 3730 3523
Battery Life 610 Shots 650 Shots
Time-Lapse Recording Yes Yes
Touchscreen Yes Yes
Selfie Friendly LCD No No
Wireless Connection Yes Yes
Bluetooth Connection Yes Yes
Microphone Port Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
Smartphone Remote Yes Yes
Built-in Flash No No
External Flash Yes Yes
Lenses Available 116 (72 Full Frame) 116 (72 Full Frame)
Dimensions 127x96x74mm 127x96x74mm
Weight 650g 657g
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In-Depth Comparison:

Looking at key specs can give you an idea of what camera may better fit your needs, but here we provide a detailed explanation to help you understand how these features affect the functionality of each camera.

Design

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Side by Side

Image via Techradar

As far as mirrorless full-frame cameras go, the Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III both have very similar, compact designs. Their dimensions are the same at 127x96x74mm, and the Sony a7r III is slightly heavier at 657g compared to the 650g of the Sony a7 III.

These cameras feature a small grip and the same button layout, which features smaller buttons than past generations. The Sony a7r III has one small difference in layout, as it features an additional socket for the flash sync.

Both of these cameras have articulating LCD screens, which allows for flexibility when shooting at different angles. The Sony a7r III’s LCD screen offers a higher resolution, making the quality live view sharper and smoother.

The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III both feature Electronic View Finders (EVF), but there is a slight difference between the EVF in each camera. The Sony a7r III utilizes a more advanced EVF with high resolution and the ability for High-Speed 120fps, which contributes to a smoother live view and sharper view.

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Ports

Image via DPReview

Neither of these cameras incorporate a built-in flash, but they do have the option for external flash mounts. The Sony a7r III has a socket for external flash sync, whereas the Sony a7 III does not.

Image Quality

The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III deliver great image results, and have similar image results for standard shoots. The main difference between the cameras lies within the sensor of the Sony a7r III, which has a 42MP sensor resolution. The Sony a7 III only has a 24MP, so the image quality of the Sony a7r III is sharper.

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Image Quality

Image via Mirrorless Comparison

The Sony a7r III also features no AA filter, which allows you to take pictures without auto-blurring of details. Between the sensor advantage and lack of AA filter, the Sony a7r III delivers sharper images, especially in still shots like commercial and portrait photography.

This isn’t to say that the Sony a7 III can’t hold up with its 24MP, but if sharper image quality is an important feature for your needs, the Sony a7r III is the winner.

Low Light Images

Another main difference between the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III is the ISO range and low light capability of the cameras.

The Sony a7 III features an ISO range of 100-51200, which can be expanded to 50-204800. The Sony a7r III has a smaller ISO range at 100-32000, which only expands to 100-102400.

With this advantage in ISO range, the Sony a7 III performs better in low light situations, with less noise in its shots. The differences in these cameras can be seen in the following examples, which highlight the noise in the Sony a7r III’s low light images and the strong performance of the Sony a7 III:

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Image Noise

Image via Mirrorless Comparison

Autofocus

The autofocus technology on these cameras works well on each model, but there are slight differences between the two. The Sony a7 III features 693 detection points, which covers 93% of the image field, and the Sony a7r III features 399 detection points, or 68% of the image area.

Example showing the expansive coverage of the Sony a7 III’s autofocus technology:

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Focus Points

Image via DPReview

The Sony a7 III has the advantage when it comes to autofocus, and it’s a great system if you do a lot of action or sports photography.

Continuous Shooting

Another area where the Sony a7 III excels is, surprisingly, the continuous shooting. The Sony a7 III has a lower resolution, which gives the camera an advantage when it comes to buffering and continuous shooting.

Image example from the Sony a7 III:

Sony a7 III vs. a7r III - Image Sample

Image via Fstoppers

The Sony a7 III has a larger buffer capacity, which allows for more burst images, and gives this camera an edge if you work heavily in action photography.

Video

Both of these cameras have 3840×2160 video resolution with the high-speed option of 120fps. The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III both have microphone and headphone ports, which allow for external mics that produce better sound quality.

The autofocus technology of the Sony a7 III comes into play, allowing for smooth autofocus throughout the video, but it can be a bit unpredictable when there are multiple subjects in the shot.

Overall, the Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III deliver solid video results without much difference between the models.

Final Thoughts

The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III have very little difference in physical design, and the weight differences won’t matter once you’ve added lenses and any other accessories. The LCD and EVF design of the Sony a7r III provides a sharper, smoother view when using.

If you are a commercial or portrait photographer, the sharper image quality of the Sony a7r III will be a huge selling point, whereas the continuous shooting ability due to the Sony a7 III’s lower resolution may appeal more to action and sports photographers.

The autofocus and the low light ability of the Sony a7 III make it a great option for those who know they’ll be shooting in low light or action scenarios.

Overall, each camera is a great option for a mirrorless full-frame camera. If you plan on working with low light shoots and action photography, the Sony a7 III may fit your needs better. The Sony a7r III has a better sensor and provides sharper images.

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